It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas – especially so as the days are getting shorter and our treescape has turned a beautiful auburn hue, it leads us to start thinking about our favourite festive activity: Christmas wreath making! Once again our masterful maven Susie will adorn the front door of our Crickhowell hotel with a fresh cut wreath. So, to find out how to make your wreath the envy of the neighbourhood follow Susie’s guide of helpful tips and tricks…
1. I try to start with a frame, which you can order online or get from your florist. Some years I use lots of long strands of ivy and shape that into a circle instead.
2. After James has trimmed and put up the Christmas trees there are usually some good bits of foliage left over, so I use these as the base for my wreath. Ours is Nordman Fir this year. You can use whatever you have in the garden such as climbing ivy (it is good to remove this from your trees anyway) or other greenery with woody stems, but I think fir or ivy is best.
3. Shape the stems around the frame and wire it on where necessary. You can get pretty florist’s wire in lots of different colours, so it doesn’t matter if you see the wire. You can add smaller bits of greenery and weave them into what you have done already or attach them with a little wire if you need it to look a bit fuller.
4. Once the wreath has taken shape and looks good to you then you can start decorating it.
5. Some years I collect holly and berries from the garden to use but this year I decided to go a little off-piste as I discovered some battery operated holly berries locally and couldn’t resist! It’s a little dark near our front door so I thought I would give them a go.
6. Add anything you wish such as pinecones, holly, ivy, or anything with a bit of colour. You can even spray the pinecones silver or gold to lift the colours. Wire them in. The cones I have used this year are from our giant sequoias and I sprayed them silver. It is easy to wire them at the bottom and then attach them to the wreath. I always use cinnamon sticks to decorate too as they smell so good and are a lovely woody colour. Take a few sticks, cut them in half and make a little bundle. You can then tie a little ribbon onto them and wire them into the wreath.
7. I also buy small red or white decorations to add to my wreaths. These can be anything from the little fake berry arrangements I have used here to Christmas baubles…or all of these things!
8. Finally, rearrange all the decorations so they look perfect and then hang the wreath on your front door.
So, those are Susie’s top tips for making a beautiful Christmas wreath to hang on your front door. If you would like to see Susie’s wonderful wreath for yourself, or even ask her for a few pointers on how to get yours just right- why not pay us a visit? You could join us for a festive afternoon tea, or perhaps a spot of lunch at our Brecon restaurant. And if you’d really like to make a trip of it, you can book your stay direct here, or give us a call on 01874 730 371.